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March 17, 2009

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We need to remember that ZNN (yeah that is a good nickname) has only pitched 2/3 a year above AA. While he was good there he didn't dominate the way other pitchers did (Joba, Lincecum, Price). Plenty of pitchers have struggled by being rushed to fast to the majors, Homer Bailey and Ian Kennedy are good examples, or look at Matt Riley for the O's they brought him up for 3 games as a Sept. call up in 1999 he got rocked and couldn't make it back to the big leagues until 2003. Now thats an extreme example but it is possible to set back a pitchers development by rushing him.

Also as to your point of innings in the major's being more vauable than in AAA I feel that you are both right and wrong. You are of course right in saying that the quality of hitters he will face and the pressure situations can both be helpful in his development. The problem is that in the minors games aren't about winning they are about development. In the minors if ZNN has a 100 pitch count you take him out right then and there regardless of score. In the majors its a bit harder to say we are about competing if we need to take our pitcher out b/c he's around 100 pitches in a 1 run game (because thats what the Nats would have to do for all 30 of Zim's starts). Also during games in the minors you can have ZNN work on certain pitches, or location that you can't have him working in the majors. Last year BA reported that the Nats had ZNN throw between 15-20 changeups a game so he could work on the pitch. He had to throw them regardless if the pitch was working that game or not. You can't have him get rocked by Utley and Howard and then tell him to throw 13 more changeups?

I am hoping that you are right in regards to what Rizzo said b/c I think its the best thing for the org. and for ZNN. Right now JayZ has a major league 4 and 2 seam fastball lets have him get his 3 offspeed offerings up to par so he can dominate when he gets to the show.

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